Admit it, you’ve never even touched your car’s owner’s manual have you? Don’t worry you’re not alone. Apparently the good folks over at Audi haven’t either.
But rather than let all those thick instruction books continue to collect dust in your glove box, Audi has teamed up with Metaio, an augmented reality (AR) software company, in order to develop an Audi AR app for your phone.
The app is called eKurzinfo (expect that to change), and it utilizes your smartphone’s camera to project vehicle information straight to its screen. This can be in the form of simple information such as identifying the insignia on the windshield wipers and entertainment system to actual engine components under the hood. What does that button, d-pad, stalk or knob do? Just point your phone at it and wait for more information to pop up.
For example, pop the hood and point the lens at some mysterious thing and, viola, eKurzinfo is able to contact it’s knowledge base wirelessly and relay back information with an animated overlay showing you where and how to refill your engine coolant.
Metaio says it sees augmented reality and visualization software reducing the need for “costly and complex user manuals.” But more than that – it’s just plain cool! We can definitely see this approach to customer education catching on quickly.
Obviously, the interactive nature of the eKurzinfo app is the main attraction here, especially if it’s able to help drivers keep their Audi’s in tip-top shape. It also appears to be a much more fun and interactive way of understand the multiple features of a car, especially tech-heavy modern day cars, where a little extra knowledge about each individual bell and whistle is welcome.
According to Metaio, the app is able to recognize 300 different parts of the car so far.
The eKurzinfo app is currently available as a free download on iOS devices. But here is the bad news: it’s only available in Europe for Audi’s A1 and upcoming 2015 A3 sedan models at this time.
No word yet on whether or not we’ll be seeing it stateside, but we can’t imagine we’ll have to wait long before we do.
*RTFM? Read The F—–g Manual! What about you? Ever read your car’s manual? What do you think of this technology?